Archive for June, 2015

This was the second bottle that I opened for Val. She also picked this one out at Half Time. She wasn’t a huge fan of this, basically for the same reasons that I didn’t enjoy it. But, I’m not one to let a cider go to waste.

citizen

ABV: 6.9%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We offer this cider to the honorable and fully infamous mayor of the only non-town in America, Fort Ethan Allen, USA. The mayor likes his cider with a ginger nip, so in our current effort to ensure local harmony and diplomacy we offer this cider up to the mayor and his fellow citizens.”

Random: My Half Time runs seems to last forever. I think it’s the best laid out beer store I’ve been to. I just wish there was one closer to me.

This cider poured with absolutely no head on top of a very cloudy, lemon yellow body. There was very little carbonation visible as well. The nose had a lot of Granny Smith apples along with strong notes of ginger. The taste was dominated by the ginger, and not apples, which was unpleasant. It had an astringent taste as well. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. It had a very long finish with the same ginger note I complained about throughout the review. I just didn’t enjoy this cider at all and I wouldn’t have it again. For $10.49 a bomber ($.48 per ounce), this wasn’t crazy expensive, but again, just not to my liking.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

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Millstone Farmgate

Posted: June 30, 2015 in Cider, Millstone Cellars, Reviews

Whenever Val wants a beer or a cider, she always tells me to pick something good. Normally, we only have reviewing beers/ciders in the house, so I’ve never had it, and thus I have no idea if it is good. Last week, she asked me this and I ended up opening 3 different bottles to find something she liked. This was the first one that I opened that she picked out at Half Time. I have a feeling she picked it out because the bottle was pretty.

millstone

ABV: 8%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Unfiltered American traditional oak barrel fermented and aged cider with a blend of our tart heirloom cider apples. A sharp and smokey recreation of pure flavors, farm values, and heritage.”

Random: Not surprisingly, we are keeping the bottle because it is indeed, pretty.

This cider poured with no head on top of a very hazy, light yellow body. There was no visible carbonation due to the cloudiness. The nose was fragrant with green apples, light oak and vanilla. The taste was intensely tart upon first sip. There was a lot of apples and lemon on this cider. There was some light toasted oak and vanilla as well. But the tartness was very strong. The body was thick with light carbonation. It had a long finish with tart apples. It was way too tart and was missing depth. This was not a cider that I would have again, especially at $18.49 a bottle ($.84 per ounce). I would be willing to try their other offerings and give them another chance.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

The other half had a craving for Thai food last night. We found a spot in Lambertville to hit up that was BYOB. I also remembered that there was a nice beer store a few blocks away. We stopped and I hadn’t been there in years. They still had some nice selections, but what I noticed was they had a lot of beers that had obviously been sitting on the shelf for awhile, such as a popular “beer camp” series from last year. In my beer infancy, I would have grabbed it up because I enjoyed it, but now, there are so many options out there and I’d prefer to buy something I know is fresh that I haven’t tried. I read an article yesterday about NY beer stores and it cited this exact reason for some of them going out of business. But, I digress. Beer time.

fantome

ABV: 8%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “…made with dandelions, literally ‘wet the bed’ in French. Described as ‘highly spicy with touches of pepper and slight grass and floral notes, a touch of lemon-lime citrus.”

Random: My office is about 8,000 degrees today. It’s normally freezing.

This beer poured with a two finger, cream-colored head that was slow to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass and a crown on top of the body. The body was a cloudy, orange-brown color with visible detritus. There was no carbonation to be seen since the beer was too cloudy. The nose was very fragrant with grass, flowers and lemon. Belgian yeast was apparent as well. The taste started with some citrus (lemon) and flowers. White peppercorn was present with some sweetness from the malt. Grass finished the flavors of the sip. It was a thicker beer than I’m used to for the style and very dry. It had a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish was very long with grass and peppercorns. This was $18.99 for the bomber, which was $.86 for per ounce. This was an expensive beer, but in my opinion, worth it, given the complexity of the flavors. I would pick this one up if you want a different type of saison.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

There’s a whole set of beers now that attract people because of gimmicks. Some include goat’s brains, Rocky Mountain Oysters or something else for them to stand out. This beer includes the use of spaghetti as an adjunct. I’m not sure exactly what the goal of that was, but let’s give it a shot.

brewfist

ABV: 8.7%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: This is a collaboration beer with Prairie Artisan Ales.

Random: I am not normally one for a gimmicky beer. I didn’t know it had spaghetti until I went to open it.

This beer poured with a thick, one finger, light brown head that dissipated slowly. It left light lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with coffee, roasted malts and smoke. Dark chocolate came along for the ride too. The taste was even more roasty than the nose. Lots of roasted malts that transitioned into deep coffee and dark chocolate. I (shockingly) don’t pick up any spaghetti. It also had some ash as well. The body was only medium thick with light carbonation. It had a long finish with ash and roasted malts. The booze was hidden as well. This was an intense beer and if you don’t like coffee or ash, this beer isn’t for you. But, it was something a bit different in the style, and I really enjoyed it. This beer was expensive at $7.99 for the twelve ounce bottle ($.67 per ounce), but I’m glad I got to try it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Every time I go to Half Time, I try to pick up beers featured from breweries local to them. They have been hit or miss (mostly miss, actually). I know next to nothing about this brewery, so I figured it was worth a shot. The label didn’t tell me much on this beer either.

harlem

ABV: 6.09%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Celeste founded Harlem Brewing in the year 2000 after trying first to build a brewery in Harlem during the 90s and then taking a detour to launch Mojo Highway Brewing Company in 1998. Prior to that, she worked with a local Ben & Jerry’s Partnershop which inspired her social venture. Along the winding road, she fell completely head over hops in love with hand crafted beers (which reminded her of Mom’s amazing homemade soups, sort of).

Random: The website did not give much information about their beers, which was disappointing.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head. It was thick and took awhile to dissipate. It left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dusky orange with light carbonation visible. The nose had some wheat and lemon to it. It had some biscuit as well. The taste was a bit more sweet with honey notes and floral. It also had some grain, but the lemon and wheat that I picked up in the nose got lost. The body was thicker than I have come to expect for the style with light carbonation. It had a long, sweet finish. For $1.99 a bottle ($.17 per ounce), which is quite reasonable. Despite that, I just wasn’t feeling this beer. I wouldn’t have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Mystic Vinland Three

Posted: June 29, 2015 in Dubbel, Mystic Brewery, Reviews

Since I only had one day off this week, I didn’t get many of my chores done. We went to lunch and walked around Doylestown yesterday. We also saw “Inside Out.” I thought the movie was only alright, but I did really like the seats, which reclined completely. It was difficult to stay awake because the seats were so insanely comfortable. Anyways, this is a brew that I had last week. Let’s see how it was.

mystic

ABV: 6%

Style: Dubbel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Vinland three yeast cultures were obtained from Bryan’s grandparent’s farm in Popple Dungeon, VT. The beer is currently in development for a targeted August 2014 release.”

Random: I watched part of a Phils game this weekend. It’s the first game that I’ve watched in months and they looked like crap.

This beer poured with a three finger, off White head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, dark brown color. The nose presented with a lot of yeast and big notes of nuts and sweetness from caramel malt. The taste was much lighter than I expected. It had no notes of booze, but lots of biscuit and nuttiness. It had a slight sweetness from the caramel malt as well. The body was medium thick with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with the nuts permeating it. The bomber was $15.99, which broke down to $.73 per ounce. I normally adore beers from Mystic, but this one just missed the mark for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

It’s Monday and I’m stuck at work. The only good thing is that I’m off on Saturday for 4th of July. It’s really dead at work since we only have 15 trucks, so I can probably leave at a decent time and mow my lawn. Let’s get to the beer.

widmer

ABV: 9.4%

Style: Winter Warmer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “BARREL AGED BRRRBON IS AN IMPERIAL VERSION OF OUR BRRR SEASONAL ALE AGED IN KENTUCKY BOURBON BARRELS. THIS SMOOTH WINTER WARMER COMBINES A RICH MALTY SWEETNESS WITH COMPLEX OAK, VANILLA, AND CARAMEL CHARACTERS THAT WILL CONTINUE TO DEVELOP AS THE BEER AGES.”

Random: This was brewed in 2010 and has been aging since 2011.

This beer poured with a one finger, cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the glass. It left a slight crown on the top of the body. The body itself was a dark and hazy brown color with no visible carbonation. It did have a lot of floaties. The nose was all bourbon and vanilla, which was very strong. The taste had notes of smoke and more bourbon. There was also a lot of vanilla and maple, which was really strong. It had a thick body and no carbonation to speak of. The booze was also really well-hidden. I think the age has something to do with that, but it may have been aged just a little too much. It had a long bourbon and vanilla finish. I really wanted to enjoy this one since I aged it so long, but it just didn’t do much for me. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0